Amgen Biotech Experience
The Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) is an innovative science education program that brings biotechnology into school classrooms. Thanks to ABE, teachers from secondary schools all over the world can receive theoretical and experimental development opportunities, as well as practical and organizational support to create laboratory experiences in their school. What are GMOs, what is meant by precision medicine, what does it mean to alter DNA, what are biotechnologies, and what achievements and challenges do they present? These questions are answered by real experiments, executed both in the school labs and remotely. Nothing improves understanding as much as actual experience!
The school lab program provides teachers with professional development, teaching materials and research instruments, and allows students to become familiar with ideas and techniques that scientists use to discover and develop new therapies. Every year in the world more than 80.000 students and 1.000 teachers take part in ABE laboratories.
ABE site Italy was born in 2017 from the collaboration between ANISN (National Association for Natural Sciences Teachers) and the University of Naples “Federico II”. In addition to the “classic ingredients” of ABE - hands-on approach, advanced technologies, connection between research, schools and virtual labs - ABE site Italy has created a systemic and diffused architecture, with specific sessions demonstrating how to integrate ABE labs in school curricula, particularly in reference to the development of IBSE (Inquiry-Based Science Education) skills. In four years, ABE site Italy has expanded to 10 regions, actively involving more than 280 teachers and more than 8.000 students in experimental activities.
ABE site Italy cooperates with the excellence network of ABE sites in the world and more closely with ABE Massachusetts (USA) at Harvard University and ABE France at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.
The Amgen Biotech Experience is supported by the Amgen Foundation, which is on a mission to help more students “catch the science bug”, by introducing them to the thrill of scientific discovery and the experiences of actual working scientists. "The critical thinking and problem-solving skills students gain from ABE are competencies that will serve them well throughout their lives – whether they are producing medicines in the lab or making informed decisions about healthcare. It’s no surprise that when students become fascinated by science, that enthusiasm can be contagious." (Scott Heimlich, Vice President, Amgen Foundation).
The program is coordinated by the Education Development Center (EDC), a global nonprofit organization that advances lasting solutions to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity.
Furthermore, ANISN is the only European partner that has activated two programs together with the Amgen Foundation: in fact, in 2014/15 the Amgen Teach program was started, which supports science teachers across Europe by providing training workshops and distance-learning events that supply educators with the skills and confidence to transform the science classroom experience for students.